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New Mexico weighs options as online schools falter

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A new study shows that online schools in New Mexico provide lower academic achievement than classroom-based schools even though they enroll fewer at-risk students from impoverished and non-English speaking families.

The analysis by two New Mexico legislative agencies was presented Tuesday to a panel of state lawmakers. It reviews student academic results, school finances and governance at the three virtual charter schools in the state where students receive all their instruction online rather than in classrooms.

The study finds that student performance lags at e-schools and that there are far fewer instructors and counselors per student. Half of public funding of virtual charter schools went to out-of-state, for-profit companies.

The Public Education Commission has voted not to renew the charter at New Mexico Connections Academy because of numerous academic shortcomings.

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